January 17, 2007
John Molori's Media Blitz
BY: John Molori
Schein lives up to his name on SIRIUS NFL Radio
If enthusiasm and knowledge were touchdowns and rushing yards, SIRIUS NFL Radio's Adam Schein would be NFL all-time great Emmitt Smith. The 29 year-old host was the first voice heard on SIRIUS NFL Radio in August of 2004. He remains the foundation football personality for the satellite radio juggernaut.
"I am not even remotely surprised at the success of SIRIUS," says Schein, who worked previously at WFAN in New York and Fox Sports Radio. "(Vice president of sports programming) Steve Cohen understands football and radio, and has great contacts within the NFL. I wanted to hitch my wagon to Steve.
"We were the perfect storm of radio with the convergence of the popularity of the NFL, the popularity of satellite radio and the arrival of Howard Stern to SIRIUS."
SIRIUS (Sirius.com) broadcasts over 130 digital-quality channels, including 69 channels of commercial-free music, plus exclusive channels of sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic, weather and data.
It is available to subscribers from coast-to-coast in the United States. The satellite service features local broadcasts of every NFL preseason and regular season game.
As host of the "Afternoon Blitz," weekdays 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Schein is at his best interviewing NFL players and coaches alongside cohosts Solomon Wilcots and Jim Miller. He states, "We have a commitment to booking the best guests. (Producer) Nick Pavlatos is just terrific.
"We have established relations with agents, public relations people and the players themselves. A lot of the players listen to us. We have become very visible in that way. Fans in so many local markets don't get their fill of football. Our show will discuss any aspect of the game about any team."
In addition to his work at SIRIUS, Schein is an NFL analyst and insider for SportsNet New York. He also appears on the station's New York Jets " Postgame Live" show and on "Sports Nite."
Schein also pens a daily NFL column for FoxSports.com and does video reports for the site. He also interviews John Madden each week for the "Madden Report," featured on VCast Verizon phones.
The national scope of his work at SIRIUS calls for deep preparation. "I pride myself on being the most prepared host in the business," he states. "I wake up at 8:00 a.m., get my Italian Roast Starbuck's coffee and read everything.
"I send emails and make a ton of phone calls. On my show, I will cite newspaper articles from around the country. I have to prepare like this to be ready for our callers."
As a result, Schein has become one of the most entertaining football hosts in the country. He has a distinctly deep and bellowing voice, and his volume is backed up by an insightful knowledge.
He can easily segue from a discussion of the Indianapolis Colts' running game to the Seattle Seahawks' defensive backs to the Arizona Cardinals' blocking schemes.
Schein's enthusiasm for the sport is evident and makes for a fun and pulsating radio experience. He is also terrific at setting up Wilcots and the impressive Miller. "That's me," says Schein, a 1999 graduate of Syracuse University. "I was hired for my energy and strong opinions, but if you are going to be opinionated, you better know what you're talking about.
"This is not a shtick. My big game is the next day's show. I subscribe to the POKE theory, which stands for Passion, Opinion, Knowledge and Entertainment. I want to take listeners on a ride where we all will be entertained and learn something."
While the NFL is a lucrative partner for SIRIUS, Schein eschews any league propaganda in terms of content. "We credit and criticize," he relates. "I don't like having regular season games abroad. We have to talk about things we don't like.
"The competitive balance in the NFL is great. If you manage the salary cap, hire the right coaches and stay injury-free, you can win. The league has done an amazing job and the fan base interest is phenomenal, but we have to be objective. In the end, my pay check comes from SIRIUS."
Schein picked the Chargers to beat the Patriots in last week's divisional playoffs, and was impressed as New England proved him wrong. "The Patriots are like the Yankees of the late 1990s," says the native New Yorker who currently lives in Manhattan.
"If you give them an extra chance, you are going to pay. I thought the game was over after the LaDainian Tomlinson (4th quarter) touchdown. Tom Brady didn't play his best game, but he made some cool throws. It all starts with him. When the star player works harder, studies more and is the most accountable, it rubs off.
"Look at guys like Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney. They weren't asked back in San Diego and Houston. There was a stat a couple of years ago that the Patriots lead the league in college graduates. They didn't make mental or physical mistakes, and the Chargers shot themselves in the foot."
Schein has taken a ton of calls regarding Tomlinson's anger over the Patriots' postgame parody of Charger Shawne Merriman's sack dance. Current Patriot and ex-Charger Reche Caldwell was a guest with Schein and told him that Tomlinson has since admitted that his disgust was more a response to losing than dancing.
Says Schein, "This is not the first time someone mocked Shawne Merriman. It is always about him. I like him as a player, but Shawne is a "look at me" guy. Plus, the Chargers were chirping all week long leading into the game."
In addition to "Afternoon Blitz," Schein hosts SIRIUS' "Stadium Tailgate" pregame show and the network's NFL Draft coverage. Along the way, he works with the legendary likes of former Cowboy GM Gil Brandt and certain Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
"I view them as colleagues," says Schein who hosted "Game Time React" and filled in for JT the Brick on Fox Sports Radio. "I grew up a New York Giants fan and get to work with (former Giant) Carl Banks, but I have never been big on hero worship. I do get smarter every time I talk to Gil."
Schein's work with the Jets at SportsNet New York gave him insight into the season long cold war between Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini. His view?
"I don't care and I don't think Eric or Bill really care. Look, it's New York and Boston. Radio hosts are going to try to make a big story out of it because it works for them."
As for the upcoming conference title games, Schein is typically candid. He states, "The Bears have problems. They couldn't stop Shaun Alexander, and an injured Matt Hasselbeck made plays against them.
"For New Orleans, their defense is underrated. Reggie Bush is electric and Drew Brees is the best quarterback on the field in that game. I give the Saints a great chance to win.
"In the AFC, I can't wait for the Pats-Colts game. Peyton Manning is not playing good football and, until the playoffs, the Colts' defense was horrible. Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney can run against this team.
"This is a career-defining game for Peyton Manning. I picked San Diego last week, but I don't think I'm going to be that guy who picks against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick again."
John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Sports Review, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com, DiscovertheValley.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.
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